Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Turning heads

Movies Hugo Weaving in The Turning

Hugo Weaving in The Turning.

Producer-director Robert Connolly describes ticket sales for the Tim Winton adaptation The Turning (pictured) as ''huge'' so far. An innovative approach to turn the film into a special event in cinemas has generated more than $200,000 in pre-sales. After a series of Q&A screenings around the country, the three-hour film is screening for two weeks from Thursday with an interval and a free program. Like a live show in a theatre, it will also have just one session a night - as well as a matinee in some cinemas. ''I've picked the 15 best screens in the country to launch this film,'' says Connolly, whose boldness ran to using 17 directors for different chapters of the film including actors David Wenham and Mia Wasikowska. In Melbourne, The Turning is screening at the Nova, Rivoli, Palace Como and Palace Brighton.

Block booking

The cinema release of the film Christina Ricci (pictured) shot in Australia last year, Sarah Spillane's Around The Block, is shifting from November to March next year. Producer Brian Rosen says the warm audience response from the world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival has encouraged thoughts the drama could take up to $3 million at the box office. ''We need to get 150 or 160 screens to be able to do that,'' he says. ''If we go in November, I don't think I can find that many screens. So we're looking to push into March after the Oscars.'' The film is about a high school teacher (Ricci) who wants to help a talented indigenous student (Hunter Page-Lochard) at the time of the Redfern riots. ''It's a gritty urban story that really could be set anywhere - East LA or Sao Paulo - so it's got a universal appeal,'' says Rosen.

Christina Ricci

Christina Ricci.

Oldies but goodies


Two classics feature at the Seniors Film Festival next week - Casablanca (pictured) and Gone With The Wind. But it's not all nostalgia with the program also including the French drama Haute Cuisine, about a cook employed by the French president, and Alex Gibney's powerhouse documentary Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence In the House of God, about the culture of sexual abuse in the Catholic church. The festival runs from October 6 to 11 at the Australian Centre For The Moving Image, with seniors tickets $5 and carers free. Garry Maddox

Twitter @gmaddox


The classic Casablanca.
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